The current approach to the management of emotions in patients with cancer is "distress screening and referral for the provision of psychosocial care."Although this approach may have certain beneficial effects, screening and referral programs have shown a limited effect on patient psychological well-being. We argue that this limited effect is due to a mismatch between patient needs and the provision of care, and that a fundamental reconceptualization of the clinical management of emotions in patients with cancer is needed. We describe the rationale and characteristics of "emotional support and case finding"as the approach to the management of emotions in patients with cancer. The two main principles of the approach are: (1) Emotional support: (a) The treating team, consisting of doctors, nurses, and allied health staff, is responsive to the emotional needs of patients with cancer and provides emotional support. (b) The treating team provides information on external sources of emotional support. (2) Case finding: The treating team identifies patients in need of mental health care by means of case finding, and provides a referral to mental health care as indicated. We present a novel perspective on how to organize the clinical management of emotions in patients with cancer. This is intended to contribute to a fruitful discussion and to inform an innovative research agenda on how to manage emotions in patients with cancer.